With a desire to find something forgotten and reinvent it, fabrics are often central to each mission. His first trip
of note was to Scotland in search of the venerable mills that had once woven the tweed used in a jacket of his
grandfather’s. It was 1988 and he subsequently started a brand. “I’d just graduated from university,” says Mr
Piombo. “I was in my twenties, and I was trying to do the opposite of everyone else. If other designers were making
big coats, I’d make them small. If they were making small coats, I’d make them big. I found a small archive of
Scottish fabrics – herringbone tweeds, tartans – and it just went from there.”
Time has moved on since that defining trip, but in MP Massimo Piombo, which we warmly welcome into out e-commerce
fold, there is related associations on TheRake.com to that journey all those years ago; namely through the beige and
brown virgin wool macro herringbone single-breasted Douglas overcoat and the cream and brown virgin wool herringbone
unlined Andy jacket.
Massimo is perturbed by the speed at which insipid fashion is moving. His answer to this trend, he claims, is to mix
up what he calls a “Piombo cocktail”, a blend not just of traditional and contemporary, but of different styles of
tastes. Again, a lot of the traditional aspects of his creations stem from the use of old school cloths. A memorable
presentation showcasing the calibre of these exclusive materials came in 2019 at Milan’s storied centenarian Jamaica
café. The eclectic variety featured deep blue alpaca, mohair and cashmere from Hungary, dark green Austrian wool,
and a Bordeaux scarf in Peruvian mohair edged with Mexican red silk embroidery. Of his inventive styling at the
event, Massimo said: “I’m a nomad, I like to travel the world to create a small dream.” Despite living outside
Genoa, close to where he grew up, he spends on average 200 days a year away from home. But don’t get the wrong
impression for the purpose of this travel. He is unlikely to be spotted at any of the flashy hotel chains, instead
opting for authentic locations and humble residences that are a true reflection of an area's historical beauty.
Embedded through the traditions of artisanal craft, each design possesses its own distinctiveness. Woven in a wider
than usual herringbone, the Douglas overcoat is a prime example. Featuring an expanded and beautifully cut notch
lapel it is made to be worn casually with a sweater. Waffle-knitted from the softest English lambswool, you should
look no further then their sweaters in both the crewneck and rollneck style.
Amongst the herringbone movement, the unlined Andy jacket is softly-tailored making it an extremely comfortable and
smart autumn option. You can always insulate further in one of the label’s magnificent overcoats. Designed with a
Raglan shoulder, the beige and green Douglas overcoat has an element of mischief to it. When worn with boots, a
sweater and chinos, it looks like you're not trying to hard - a theme that stretches beyond all of his designs.
With a tastefully cut shawl collar, the double-breasted Robbie overcoat is an impressive example of his penchant for
employing pulsating jolts of colour. By analysing its credentials, it's certainly got the right concoction of
boho-edge, traditional detail and contemporary elegance – a balance that the brand masters with real aplomb.
Despite each piece being cut from exclusive fabrics in limited quantities, using age-old techniques, these refreshing
designs are placed at a very attainable price point. Infused with their own dose of eccentricities from the
well-travelled and charismatic Massimo Piombo, any one of his creations would be a shrewd investment.